Entering the 2016 season, pitcher Blake Snell is the unanimous selection as the Rays’ top prospect.

Our top prospects list is a meta-analysis that averages the rankings for the Rays’ top prospects from ESPN.com, BaseballAmerica, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com,and Minor League Ball.

Here are the top 17 prospects according to their cumulative score across all of the prospect ranking lists. To be included below, a player had to be ranked in the top 10 of at least one of the above lists.

1. Blake Snell, LHP

Blake Snell

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 1
  • Baseball America — 1
  • Baseball Prospectus — 1
  • MLB.com — 1
  • Minor League Ball — 1

How acquired: 1st round pick (No. 52 overall) in 2011 draft

2015 level: High-A/AA/AAA (1.41 ERA in 25 games with 163 strikeouts and 53 walks in 134 innings)

One thing to know: Snell was named the 2015 Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and USA Today and comes into the 2016 season as the 12th-best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America. Here is how Baseball Prospectus describes his stuff: “His projection has manifested itself in a 92-94 mph four-seam fastball that occasionally touches 96. The pitch is borderline plus-plus because of its movement, and he has more life on it than any left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. He complements that heater with a plus slider, a pitch that has hard downward tilt that he can now locate for strikes or bury at the feet of right-handed hitters.”

2. Willy Adames, SS

3-16-2016 3-00-52 PM

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 5
  • Baseball America — 2
  • Baseball Prospectus — 2
  • MLB.com — 3
  • Minor League Ball — 2

How acquired: Received from the Detroit Tigers in the David Price trade.

2015 level: High-A (.258 avg, .342 OBP, with 4 home runs, 10 walks, and 123 strikeouts in 396 at bats)

One thing to know: Adames is the 46th-best prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. A shortstop for now, there is some feeling that he will eventually end up at second or third base when he gets bigger and his range goes down.

3. Brent Honeywell, RHP

3-16-2016 3-02-29 PM

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 3
  • Baseball America — 3
  • Baseball Prospectus — 3
  • MLB.com — 2
  • Minor League Ball — 4

How acquired: 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft

2015 level: A/High-A (3.18 ERA in 24 games with 129 strikeouts and 27 walks in 130.1 innings)

One thing to know: The 43rd-best prospect overall, according to MLB.com, and No. 65 overall, according to Baseball America. Honeywell throws a pitch not seen often anymore, the screwball, and it may be his best pitch.

4. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP

USATSI_9182560_154511044_lowres

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 2
  • Baseball America — 7
  • Baseball Prospectus — 4
  • MLB.com — 6
  • Minor League Ball — 3

How acquired: 1st round pick (No. 24 overall) in 2011 draft

2015 level: High-A/AA (1.85 ERA in 20 games with 72 strikeouts and 19 walks in 78.0 innings)

One thing to know: Guerrieri had Tommy John surgery in 2013 and experts are still split on what to think of his potential. ESPN has him as the 35th-best prospect in baseball. Meanwhile, MLB.com and Baseball America both have him outside the top 100.

5. Garrett Whitley, CF

Garrett Whitley

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 7
  • Baseball America — 5
  • Baseball Prospectus — 5
  • MLB.com — 4
  • Minor League Ball — 8

How acquired: 1st round pick (No. 13 overall) in 2015 draft

2015 level: Rookie (.174 avg, .293 OBP, with 3 home runs, 21 walks, and 37 strikeouts in 138 at bats)

One thing to know: Whitley was considered by some to be a risk of a pick in the first round due to being a high school from a northern state (New York) where the spring seasons are short and players don’t get a lot of playing time before the draft.

6. Daniel Robertson, SS

Daniel Robertson

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 4
  • Baseball America — 10
  • Baseball Prospectus — 7
  • MLB.com — 7
  • Minor League Ball — 5

How acquired: Received from the Oakland A’s in the Ben Zobrist trade

2015 level: Rookie/AA (.270 avg, .365 OBP, with 4 home runs, 36 walks, and 60 strikeouts in 307 at bats)

One thing to know: Ranked as the 85th-best prospect in baseball by ESPN. A broken bone in his hand cost Robertson 2 months of the 2015 season and did not return to form when he came off the DL.

7. Jake Bauers, 1B/OF

USATSI_8915366_154511044_lowres

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 9
  • Baseball America — 4
  • Baseball Prospectus — UR
  • MLB.com — 5
  • Minor League Ball — 7

How acquired: Acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Wil Myers trade

2015 level: High-A/AA (.272 avg, .342 OBP, with 11 home runs, 50 walks, and 74 strikeouts in 474 at bats)

One thing to know: The 78th-best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America. Bauers projects to be a typical Rays first baseman. That is, he is a good glove with a good bat that has little power.

8. Richie Shaffer, 3B/1B/OF

USATSI_8809766_154511044_lowres

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 6
  • Baseball America — 11
  • Baseball Prospectus — 9
  • MLB.com — 11
  • Minor League Ball — 10

How acquired: 1st round pick (No. 25 overall) in 2012 draft

2015 level: AA/AAA (.267 avg, .357 OBP, with 26 home runs, 54 walks, and 123 strikeouts in 393 at bats)

One thing to know: Shaffer also played in 31 games with the Rays, hitting 4 homer uns in 74 at bats, but striking out 32 times. Barring an injury at the big-league level, Shaffer will likely spend most of the 2016 season in AAA, stuck behind Evan Longoria and the log jam in the outfield and at first base.

9. Jacob Faria, RHP

Jacob Faria

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 16
  • Baseball America — 8
  • Baseball Prospectus — 10
  • MLB.com — 9
  • Minor League Ball — 6

How acquired: 10th round pick in 2011 draft

2015 level: High-A/AA (1.92 ERA in 25 games with 159 strikeouts and 52 walks in 149.2 innings)

One thing to know: Faria, along with Blake Snell, was one of the 2 pitching prospects scolded by Chris Archer in front of the media for not being early enough to the first day of workouts.

10. Mikie Mahtook, OF

Mikie Mahtook

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 13
  • Baseball America — 6
  • Baseball Prospectus — UR
  • MLB.com — 10
  • Minor League Ball — 9

How acquired: 1st round pick (No. 31 overall) in 2011 draft

2015 level: AAA (.249 avg, .304 OBP, with 4 home runs, 22 walks, and 98 strikeouts in 385 at bats)

One thing to know: Mahtook also played in 41 games with the Rays, hitting .329 with a .380 OBP and 7 home runs over the final month of the season. Like Shaffer, despite showing success at the big-league level, Mahtook is likely headed back to the minors for most of the 2016 season with so many outfielders on the depth chart.

11. Casey Gillaspie, 1B

Casey Gillaspie

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 11
  • Baseball America — 9
  • Baseball Prospectus — UR
  • MLB.com — 8
  • Minor League Ball — 11

How acquired: 1st round pick (No. 20 overall) in 2014 draft

2015 level: Rookie/Low-A/High-A (.253 avg, .334 OBP, with 17 home runs, 32 walks, and 54 strikeouts in 281 at bats)

One thing to know: Like Bauers, Gillaspie projects as a first baseman with a nice glove and good bat, but without enough bat speed to ever be a consistent power hitter. In other words, just like every other Rays first baseman since Carlos Pena left town.

12. Chih-Wei Hu, RHP

3-16-2016 3-14-31 PM

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 8
  • Baseball America — 15
  • Baseball Prospectus — UR
  • MLB.com — 13
  • Minor League Ball — 16

How acquired: Acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the Kevin Jepsen trade

2015 level: High-A/AAA (3.22 ERA in 21 games with 99 strikeouts and 31 walks in 109.0 innings)

One thing to know: Hu was signed by the Twins out of Taiwan in 2012. He has generally excelled at the minor league level while typically facing older competition. He is just 22 years old this season.

13. Chris Betts, C

3-16-2016 3-15-39 PM

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 10
  • Baseball America — 14
  • Baseball Prospectus —  UR
  • MLB.com — 16
  • Minor League Ball — 14

How acquired: 2nd round pick in 2015 draft

2015 level: DNP

One thing to know: Betts was originally projected as a first-round pick. However, concerns about his arm caused him to slip. After he was drafted, Betts had Tommy John surgery on his elbow.

14. Justin O’Conner, C

Justin O’Conner

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 15
  • Baseball America — 13
  • Baseball Prospectus — 8
  • MLB.com — 15
  • Minor League Ball — 16

How acquired: 1st round pick (No. 31 overall) in 2010 draft

2015 level: AA (.231 avg, .255 OBP, with 9 home runs, 13 walks, and 129 strikeouts in 429 at bats)

One thing to know: After playing in the Futures Game in 2014, O’Conner’s bat took a step backwards in 2015.

15. Justin Williams, OF

3-16-2016 3-20-28 PM

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 17
  • Baseball America — 16
  • Baseball Prospectus — 11
  • MLB.com — 14
  • Minor League Ball — 13

How acquired: Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Jeremy Hellickson trade.

2015 level: A/High-A (.277 avg, .298 OBP, with 7 home runs, 14 walks, and 90 strikeouts in 470 at bats)

One thing to know: William won’t turn 21 until August and yet this will be his fourth year of pro ball.

16. Ryan Brett

Ryan Brett

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 21
  • Baseball America — 12
  • Baseball Prospectus — 11
  • MLB.com — 12
  • Minor League Ball — 16

How acquired: 3rd round pick in 2010 draft

2015 level: High-A/AAA (.251 avg, .293 OBP, with 5 home runs, 15 walks, and 64 strikeouts in 331 at bats)

One thing to know: Brett also played in 9 games with the Rays last season, going 0-11 with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks (oops, wrong line. He was 2-3 in 3 games, 1 start). A shoulder injury sent him to the DL for a month and never seemed to be OK after that.

17. Adrian Rondon, SS

Adrian Rondon

Expert rankings:

  • ESPN — 18
  • Baseball America — 17
  • Baseball Prospectus — 6
  • MLB.com — 20
  • Minor League Ball — 16

How acquired: Signed as an international free agent in 2014

2015 level: Rookie (.166 avg, .256 OBP, with 0 home runs, 17 walks, and 57 strikeouts in 145 at bats)

One thing to know: Rondon was just 15 when the Rays agreed to give him a $2.95 million signing bonus as the top international free agent in the summer of 2014.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
 
 

3 Comments

  1. OriginalTom says:

    Hey Cork, Those ML state you posted for Ryan Brett are from Spring Training. He actually went 2-3 with a walk and a double last year for a 1.750 OPS! Pretty sure that is not sustainable though. LOL.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. Joseph Porter says:

    Jacob Faria has an incredible year last year and that's what you put in the need to know section??

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Leave a Comment